Essay: Marshal Potemkin, Meet Your Fans

Marshal Grigory Potemkin, one of the more artful lovers of Catherine the Great, accomplished many things during his long domination of Russia, but he is best remembered for an illusion. To impress Catherine with the prosperity that he had brought to her subjects, he is said to have built handsome fake villages all along the route of her tour through southern Russia in 1787. Historians doubt this tale, which they blame on malicious court gossip, yet there is something about the idea of "Potemkin villages" that lingers in the memory as a symbol of political craft.

Let us therefore salute Anthony B....

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